In today’s digital age, there’s been lot of talk about whether or not print is dead. Should businesses still invest in printed marketing materials, or are they too dated?
The simple answer is it really depends on the type of business. But the extended answer is yes, most businesses can still benefit from integrating printed materials into their marketing efforts.
Here are a few reasons small businesses benefit from printed materials:
Subscribe to Out of Office:
- Staying Power. Unlike the fleeting Internet, print materials sit in front of your audience and catch their attention over and over again. Think, for example, of tradeshow giveaways such as a pile of company-branded sticky notes. After a customer picks up the notes, they likely place them on their desk in front of prospects, where they are more likely to see your business logo than if you had directed them to your website or social handles. One of my colleagues in sports marketing echoed this: “Our demographic loves the mini catalogs we produce. They stick them on their shelves and when budget opens up, they look through them like kids looking at Christmas catalogs. They may go online to order, but the print is what drove them there.”
- Better Engagement. According to a recent study conducted by marketing platform SHIFT, materials with an image are more likely to drive engagement than those with words only. Print materials provide the opportunity to engage your audience not just with the words on the page but with the vibrant colors, font and images.
- Brand Recognition. Businesses spend a good deal of time and money to brand themselves – everything from logo to pantone colors to taglines. It’s not always possible to replicate this aesthetic online, where variables such as browser type, screen resolution and brightness can alter what people see. This is never an issue with printed materials. Your brand’s color, logo and overall look and feel are always exact.
- Reiteration and Integration. Using print as a part of your overall marketing mix can help reiterate what you say and promote online. I recently worked with a client that used the web and print in a promotion. Prospects received a printed promotion first, with the promise of something valuable if they visited an online landing page. The response rate was significantly higher than other previous promotions using only print or online.
- Credibility. There’s a tangible quality about print that makes people take you more seriously. Almost anyone with an internet connection can set up a website or an E-commerce store. However, not just anyone is going to take the time to produce a printed piece of marketing collateral. Not to mention, there’s no threat of spam or malware from opening up a piece of mail. Invest in solid materials for print. Don’t skimp. If you’re going to invest in printed materials, they need to be high quality, whether it’s your own collateral (card and paper stock) or the outlets in which you’re investing (high end magazines or catalogs).
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to still use print in your marketing materials. Don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of developing the content. It doesn’t have to be different than what you’re already producing online. – It’s simply presented in a different format.
Think of it as an opportunity to expand on what you say online. The web offers a nice opportunity to provide snippets or sneak peeks, and print can deliver the rest of the story.
Think of print as an appetizer or dessert – it can be used to introduce a customer to a new product you have online and drive traffic, or it can be used as a follow up to a store visit. The messaging remains the same, but the print distribution gives people something tangible to make your business unforgettable!
Christine Perkett is a senior marketing and PR consultant, and the founder and CEO of SeeDepth, a PR Analytics platform that makes measurement easy, meaningful and profitable for PR agencies and corporate communications teams. She has been named a “Top 100 Must Follow Marketing Mind” in Forbes, “A Top 100 Small Business Influencer” in the Small Business Influencer Awards and a “Top 50 Social Media Influencer on Twitter” by Cision.